NYC Subway SeriesI’m a bit of a people watcher. {Maybe you’ve noticed my favorite subject to paint is people.} I’m always soaking up the faces around me and looking for an image to paint. You can’t find a better place for such an activity than the NYC subway if just for the sheer volume of people. Not only that, but you get a delicious variety. The only problem is trying to get decent photos of people without seeming creepy.

Artist problems: I'm not being creepy; I'm just trying to photograph you. Click To Tweet

When I saw this Asian girl get on, I knew I had to capture her. She sat across from me and stared at the ceiling the entire way to her stop probably trying to ignore what a weirdo I was being. But I captured the shot and learned a lot painting her. I still don’t have a title for this piece.

{There were so many interesting people to watch, I think I’ll start a series of paintings of people just on the subway.}

COLORS ON MY PALETTE (all Lukas Berlin brand)

  • Titanium White
  • Naples Yellow
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Primary Red (a very pinkish red similar to Permanent Rose)
  • Cobalt Blue Light
  • Cassell Earth (a purplish brown)
  • Burnt Umber

UNDERPAINTING

I decided on an underpainting, not for any particular reason other than I hadn’t done it in a while. I used the burnt umber with my favorite thinner, Gamsol, to create the sketch of her head and features. I toned the rest of the board with a mix of cobalt and burnt umber.

THE COLOR MIX

  1. SKIN BASE: Titanium white, Naples Yellow, primary red
  2. TO DARKEN: Cassell earth and burnt umber

This was also my first attempt at Asian skin tone (and firsts can be intimidating). I knew I needed to add extra yellow to my usual skin tone mix which consists of Naples yellow, permanent rose, and white with a little permanent blue to tone it down.  In fact, the Naples yellow wasn’t cutting it so I had to whip out my yellow ochre. Several times in the video you’ll see the skin tone going from too yellow to too pink, but I think I finally managed to capture the right balance.

THE TIME-LAPSE:

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